Dentside? Some of you may question if it's a good thing to have a Dentside or not. If someone besides Ford put the dent in the side of your F-100, then it's probably a bad thing, but if you have a '73-79 Ford F-100, then it's a good thing. See, as opposed to the '67-72 Bumpside F-100s with a raised "bump" going down each side of the truck, the '73-79 F-100s have a horizontal "dent" on both sides straight from the factory.

Arvel Gatewood was happy to have a Dentside again. He owned a '78 Flareside-a Stepside to you Chevy guys and gals-back in the '80s and never had the chance to build it the way he wanted to before letting it go. So back in '03 at the age of 63, Arvel found a '79 F-100 with a Flareside bed and figured it was now or never.

It was a rough beginning for Arvel and the '79 after having to sort out some "questionable" paperwork he received from the seller for the non-running Ford, but once he got the title in his name, the game was on. Originally, the plan was to drop a stock 351 crate motor in the truck, but Arvel soon heard about a good deal on a complete '01 Ford Triton V-8 motor and matching automatic tranny from an F-150. He bought the late-model drivetrain even though the seller warned him it was gonna take quite a bit of work to put it in the old F-100.

Arvel soon found that the stock twin I-beam suspension was making it difficult to drop in the SOHC motor, and he was urged to buy an IFS kit from Jim Meyer Racing to update the suspension and make more room for the new engine. Even though Arvel is a competent and handy fellow, he looked to Richard and Nick Stromer for a hand welding in the new front suspension because he didn't want to take any chances with his own or his passenger's safety. Along with the Jim Meyer setup came rack-and-pinion steering, GM 12-inch disc brakes, and QA-1 coilovers to put the front of the truck in the right direction.

Under the F-100's rear, Arvel C-notched the frame and flipped the 9-inch rearend on top of the stock leaf springs to get the proper stance. He then added the always-cool polished Ansen Sprint wheels that fit perfectly with the truck's era, but in 17-inch versions, which helps the '79 bridge any generation gaps.